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On cross-national variation in the correlation between authoritarianism and social dominance orientation

Sabrina de Regt, Tim Smits, Dimitri Mortelmans

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In this article, empirical evidence on cross-national variation in the authoritarianism–social dominance orientation (SDO) association has been provided. Authoritarianism and SDO measures were derived from the existing European Values Study (EVS) data. In the first study, it has been shown that the new EVS measures correlate substantially with the scales normally used to measure the constructs, that the scales have adequate levels of internal consistency, and that the EVS measures have comparable relations with external variables similar to the scales usually employed. In the second study, the authoritarianism–SDO association has been shown for twenty-eight European countries. For many of these countries, no information on this association was available until today. It has been shown that not only the magnitude of this relationship differs between countries but more noticeably the direction of this association also. In East European countries, negative relationships between authoritarianism and SDO have been found while in other European countries this relationship has been found to be positive.

Keywords: Authoritarianism – Social Dominance Orientation – European Values Study – Scale validation – Cross-national research